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SUNY Downstate To Vote Again On Closing Brooklyn's Long Island College Hospital

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TWC News: SUNY Downstate To Vote Again On Closing Brooklyn's Long Island College Hospital
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SUNY Downstate medical officials are preparing to take a second vote on Tuesday on closing Long Island College Hospital in the Cobble Hill section of Brooklyn, after a judge last week invalidated their previous plan to close.

The medical system's board met in SUNY Purchase in Westchester County on Monday, to take official action after a judge stalled on Thursday their original plan to close LICH, saying the closure violated an open meetings law.

SUNY Downstate is now legally barred from closing LICH, until their decision-making process is sufficiently open to the public.

Dr. John Williams, the president of SUNY Downstate, said the medical system is set to run out of cash by the end of the month, due in part to the financial drain from LICH.

The health officials also discussed further savings on Monday through the restructuring of their system's teaching hospital, University Hospital of Brooklyn.

"We have one of the most important medical schools in the entire United States, as you heard from the report, and we can't afford for that medical school to go away," said Williams. "A lot of patients in that area do not even go to LICH, and so we made a decision that we were really restructure UHB and get it back to viability."

There have been a number of ongoing protests from hospital workers' unions, which claim the SUNY Downstate medical officials are the ones who brought on budget problems at LICH.

A number of protesters spoke out during a three-hour public hearing held before SUNY Downstate's vote last month to close LICH.

On Tuesday, there will be an hour-long public hearing at SUNY Purchase before the SUNY Downstate votes on closing LICH.

People can also speak via videoconference at LICH during Tuesday's hearing or watch a live video feed of the meeting in University Hospital of Brooklyn.

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